Samantha Turk grew up in St. Joseph, MI, and became interested in science in high school after taking a three-week cancer biology course at Brown University. Upon receiving the Whitinger Scholarship to Ball State University, she began research under Dr. Eric “VJ” Rubenstein. Her project was focused on investigating genes involved in protein degradation at the translocon. After completing her BS in Biology at Ball State, Samantha continued her education in the Rubenstein Lab as a master’s student, where she later completed her MS in Biology with a certificate in biotechnology. She continued the work she began as an undergrad, expanding the scope to investigate the role of lipid perturbation in protein degradation.
During her time in the Rubenstein Lab, Samantha received an undergraduate research grant, an undergraduate research fellowship, and a gradate research grant. She also received an Honorable Mention for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Samantha wanted to pursue a PhD to expand her learning and skillset, and as a steppingstone to a career as a PI, where she would hope to inspire a future generation of scientists. As a graduate student at St. Jude, Samantha studies cell and molecular biology, with a focus on mechanisms of disease.
Hometown: St. Joseph, MI